Mavericks-Pelicans game postponed Monday, Celtics-Bulls postponed Tuesday

The Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans game tonight has been postponed, according to Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News.

Ongoing contact tracing left the Mavericks without the necessary eight available players, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

The team already had four players out due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols including Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson and Maxi Kleber.

The Mavericks didn’t add any other player to that list due to contact tracing after Kleber’s positive test on Jan. 10, which means at least five players entered protocols today, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

This is the third game postponed of the season after the game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat was postponed on Jan. 10.

Celtics-Bulls game and beyond

The game between the Celtics and Chicago Bulls on Jan. 12 has also been postponed, becoming the fourth such game of the NBA season and the third in the last two days.

The Celtics are still short of the required eight players.

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Grant Williams, Tristan Thompson, Robert Williams, Javonte Green and Semi Ojeleye are all out due to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, while Kemba Walker and Romeo Langford are out with injury.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently said that January would likely be the worst month for the league for the virus, but he also expressed optimism that things would improve in February and beyond.

“They tell us it’ll be better later in the season, but I just hope this doesn’t break the league in the next few weeks,” one GM told Wojnarowski.

The NBA and NBPA will be meeting today about modifying the league’s health and safety protocols.

The NBA’s general managers have a conference call set today to discuss these issues with league too, according to Wojnarowski.

Topics for the conference call today will be centered on tightening protocols including re-examining shootarounds and practice lengths, pre-and-post game socializing on court (for example, hugs), further restrictions on restaurant dining and tighter rules on mask-wearing.